200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#1910s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs Annual Convention, Bloomington 1918

Federation of Colored Women's Club, 1918.

The Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs held its nineteenth convention in Bloomington in late August 1918. Seen here are convention goers gathered before Wayman African Methodist Episcopal (Wayman A M E Church) Church at 804 N. Center St.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 124: ‘Swing Time’ at Victory Hall October 1935

904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall

Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 115: Threatened Downtown Beauty

Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington

Seen here is the Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington, sometime in 1935. The fate of this lovely seven-story commercial building at the southwest corner of the Museum Square is in the hands of city officials.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

The Meyer Brewing Co.

Advertisement from the Bloomington City Directory, 1904

The McLean County Museum of History holds a small collection of artifacts used by the Meyer Brewing Company of Bloomington, IL, a local brewery that enjoyed much success prior to Prohibition.

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Volunteer Reflection: Drew Brandau

My first day here I was given the task of making a finding aid for a nearly 100-year-old collection of World War I material, mainly books and military manuals. A finding aid is a typed inventory of the contents of an archival collection, and as such helps researchers and those interested in the collection find their way around the material.

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Written by Bill Kemp in WGLT McHistory Series

McHistory: Bloomington Dramaturge Explored Gender Roles

Rachel Crothers is all but unknown today as America's most successful female playwright.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 70: A Real Animal House

The Animal House opened 100 years ago in early March 1914.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Collection Highlight: Trench Art

Trench art has been created in a number of places besides battlefield trenches – army hospitals, POW camps, machine shops, and towns and villages miles away from the action. Read this post to learn about some trench art in our collection, made by military personnel from McLean County

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Written by Susan Hartzold in Collection Highlights

What the heck is Julia LeBeau playing?

Miss LeBeau’s tin can xylophone was donated to the Museum in 1994 by her good friend Charles Ridenour who believedit needed an appropriate home.We agreed!

Julia LeBeau (1903-1994) was the daughter of George and Nettie LeBeau, owners of a Bloomington music shop. In 1906 she decided she wanted a xylophone, but her father didn't want to spend the money — he didn't think she'd stick with it. Instead, he built this tin-can xylophone for her, using fruit, fish, and vegetable cans purchased from a downtown Bloomington grocery.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

This photograph, circa 1916, shows the church league basketball team from Grace Methodist Episcopal (now Grace United Methodist) Church in Bloomington.

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